Arsenal v Bournemouth pre-match

Can I just say something about Monday night football …….. I really don’t like it. Everyone else gets to play over the weekend and Monday night football just feels like an after thought. But, lucky us, we and Bournemouth get to play our FA Cup tie on BT Sport tonight at 8pm.

Bournemouth have lost their way a little this season but I’ve always enjoyed playing against them as they like to play exciting, creative football so it should be a good game.

Arteta has played down any reliance on Martinelli but he has a great opportunity to impress again this evening as I’m sure he’ll be itching to score for us.

This is what Arteta had to say about Martinelli.

“I would like to talk about potential, more than what it is at the moment,” said Arteta.

“For him there is still a long way. The stature of this club, to give him the key to do that straight away is not fair on him.

“We have to bring him down. I want him to train with his head down every day hard, and slowly he will start to earn the praise if he does what he needs to do every day, but it is not about one or two days.”

Arteta isn’t getting carried away but we can be excited.

Lacazette deserves a rest for all his running lately but needs to start scoring again so maybe he’ll play some part tonight. Please find the right boots Laca.

We are without the suspended Luiz and Aubameyang (this is his last game out), Kolasinac and Nelson are unavailable because of injuries. Sokratis should return after a bout of illness. Holding needs to improve his match fitness so maybe we’ll see those two paired together.

Here’s the team that could start ………..


Bellerin   Holding   Sokratis   Saka

Guendouzi   Torreira


Pepe   Lacazette   Martinelli

I love the FA Cup so I’m hoping we’re going to progress to the next round. The team fought hard for each other at Stamford Bridge last week, if we can see more of that passion and desire to not be beaten I will be very happy.




134 Responses to Arsenal v Bournemouth pre-match

  1. There’s such a great sadness overwhelming the sports world today with the death of Basketball great Kobe Bryant and his thirteen year old daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash.

    Life is so precious. Thinking of his family and friends at this very sad time.

  2. Sue says:

    Nice one, Peaches! Nah, they’ve saved the best till last 👊 It’s on BT… not BBC.
    I think we’ll see that ‘he drinks Estrella, he eats paella’ fella tonight, other than that… spot on.
    It said yesterday online that it’s been over 600 days since Laca’s last away goal 😳 Surely tonight’s the night 😉 COYG

  3. Ooops, thanks Sue for pointing that out ……..

  4. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Peaches

    That looks like a likely line-up, particularly as we have six days to recover and then a two week break. No real need to rest players.

    Is Xhaka fit/available? If so I would expect to see him start alongside Terrier.

  5. Hi Rocky

    You’re probably right and Xhaka will start alongside Torreira. I thought it would be nice for Guendouzi to start a game, he always seems to get thrown on when there’s a problem.

  6. LBG says:

    Nice one Peach
    Hate Monday football almost as much as Sunday and Thursday night football!
    Hoping for a busy, exciting game, no VAR, a win for the Arse and all the big teams to be drawn against each other in the next round. Realistic to the last.

  7. Rasp says:

    Thanks peaches, I have a feeling that all Mikel’s hard work is beginning to click into place.

    Rocky observed that we wouldn’t have come back like we did against the chavs under Unai and I agree.

    I think the players are beginning to believe in themselves and to trust and be inspired by the manager. The fans are clearly on board too. If the results we’ve had under Mikel had been when Unia was in charge there would have been a maelstrom of calls for him to go.

    On that basis, I predict the rebuild will continue this evening and we will win and more importantly witness some exciting and entertaining football.

  8. Sue says:

    Mike Dean is on var tonight….

  9. RockyLives says:

    Mike Dean… VAR…. Arsenal…

    What could possibly go wrong?

  10. Sue says:

    Hahaha Rocky 👍…..and with Atkinson refereeing, oh joy… what a night we’re in for!!

  11. RockyLives says:

    I agree with Peaches about Monday night footy.

    It’s a real drag waiting until 8pm Monday to get our fix.

  12. allezkev says:

    Atkinson is a Leeds fan, so he’s not doing us any favours tonight, or ever for that matter…

  13. Sue says:

    Just like the Sheff Utd game then, Kev 👍

  14. Rasp says:

    Mari has apparently flown home ‘disappointed’

    The unsubstantiated story that is going round is that his club wanted to sell and we want him on loan to the summer with an option to buy at the end.

    It seems plausible.

    The more I hear and read about him, the more I like the idea.

    Tim Vickery (south American football expert) speaks very highly of him and says it would be a major coup if we manage to sign him.

    He’s 26, 6ft 3in, left footed and particularly noted for his ball playing skills and his ability to bring the ball out from the back. He would appear to be exactly what we need, so best not to get too excited.

  15. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Peaches

    two games till a break, so I don’t feel rotation and resting is such a factor to be considered for this game. I am torn between Rocky’s youth angle and a feeling that we could do with a win just to prevent any negative media focus on recent results.

    Right now continuity and progress in performances allied with a victory to match the performance feels more important than wholesale changes and a team top heavy with youth.

    I had a look at clips of Mari and he looks decent, although I wondered if he was a tad on the slow side, and he did seem to go to ground a lot with his tackling. He won all of those in the clips, obviously, but I would be unsure how many he may mistime.

    The premier league is faster so I hope it doesn’t turn out that he finds the sliding tackles he was making, he suddenly is just slightly late with, otherwise that would make him a slightly bigger version of Mustaffi.

    That said, Arteta will already know him from his time at City so will have seen him on the training ground and, if he feels he is good enough, so be it. Then it is just down to the club not doing one of their arguing over a pittance routines and killing the deal. We don’t want to lose a potentially important recruit because we wouldn’t cover the packet of extra strong mints he got at the airport.

    I have a lot coming up soon so may be a bit scarcer, but just wanted to give a big thumbs up to Rocky and Peaches for all the posts they are doing. I will come back to help you out when things become less frantic.

  16. Aaron says:


    Love the FA Cup too.

    Play them all, except Hector, they can all rest.

    Feel for the Bryant family, especially his young daughter. Damn heli’s are so dangerous.

    Hope Mari is flying back home to take care of family business before a move to Arsenal and not stan the maN goes cheap.

    Yes, Mikel has got out conceding down by a least .5 goals per game, but the team needs another .5 to win Europa or get us top 6.

    A goal for Eddie and Laca, and a clean sheet would do the team wonders. NO red cards…

    Keep the team moving forward with a W.

  17. RockyLives says:

    The Cherries beat Luton in the last round of the Cup on Jan 4th.

    They beat Brighton in their last league outing (Jan 21st).

    Prior to that (and excluding the Cup win) they lost 10 of their 12 EPL games, drew one and had only one victory (against Chelsea).

    Form suggests we should be favourites, but it’s the Cup, Auba’s out, we’re struggling to find goals etc etc…

  18. Rasp says:

    Whilst wiling away my time waiting for the game I googled why Bournemouth are called The Cherries.

    Apparently it is nothing to do with the colour of their shirts but simply because their ground was built on a site which was previously cherry orchards.

    I got to thinking what teams might be called if they were all given nicknames in the same fashion….

    so I googled WHL and got this ….

  19. RockyLives says:

    Rasp 😀

    Apparently before they inflicted their inferior brand of football on it, the land where the Tiny Totts’ stadium stands used to be a plant nursery.

    It was never a successful nursery: everything always wilted in May.

  20. Rasp says:

    😂😂…. strange that seeing as there is no shortage of manure

  21. LBG says:

    Any story via Daily Mail is bound to be crap.
    Hope loan deal goes ahead

  22. RA says:

    Well done Peaches, thank you, and I am with you in your views. 😁

  23. RA says:

    It seems that the lack of a week-end game makes most of us dislike the Monday Night Football game – as I do – except when it gets to Monday might I am really well up for the game on TV.

    Go figure.


  24. RockyLives says:


    I like your positivism. At this point the fans of all the other teams (bar Bournemouth) are feeling miserable because they won’t have any footy until the weekend.

    They’ll be jealous of us right now 😀

  25. RA says:


    Excellent – 😁😁 Plant wilt and copious stinky manure.

    Two teams for the price of a manky plot.

  26. RA says:

    That is so true, Rocky!!

  27. RockyLives says:

    My prediction for tonight…

    Cherries to start full of gusto and to score before half time (HT 1-0 to Bournemouth).

    MA to work half time magic, strong second half from the good guys, final score 1-3 in our favour.

    Who could possibly quibble with such scientific analysis?

  28. Sue says:

    Apart from Villa/Leicester tomorrow & West Ham/Liverpool & Man U/City on Wednesday 😀

  29. RockyLives says:

    Oh Sue, picky picky

  30. RA says:

    Hi, GB,

    You are a difficult man to please!

    Your synopsis of our ‘maybe yes’ – ‘maybe no’ – El Cheapo CB mentioned your concerns that Mighty Mario could be too slow — what are you on about?

    Too slow? He will fit in brilliantly with the other CBs and Xhaka, and will form part of our brilliant Invincible Snails!! 🙄

  31. Sue says:

    The draw will take place before the game… hmmm interesting!

  32. Sue says:

    😂😂 a good week of football, Rocky!!

  33. RA says:

    That Sue is so cheeky, Rocky,

    Starts commenting and points out that our lovely Peaches got her BT and BC mixed up!! What a nerve!

    And now points out that both you (initially) and my wonderful-self by association, do not know who’s playing, or not, with the other also-rans.

    Let’s face it – Tuesday and Wednesday are days away!! 😜

    Gotta go – things to finish before the game!!

  34. RockyLives says:

    Exactly Redders. Sue’s got it in for us…
    …just because of a silly thing like being wrong… 😀

  35. Sue says:

    Anyway Rocky, I’m wondering if you have anything to say about tonight? With the Chelsea game, you questioned Bellerin playing, so he went on to score and pick up motm.. last night you said about the BBC not getting their cup upset… Shrewsbury ended up drawing… you could very well end up being our secret weapon 👍👍

  36. RockyLives says:

    Oh poo – I’ve already made a prediction that we’ll win!

    I formally withdraw my earlier prediction and now forecast a Bournemouth victory.

    Phew, that should tip it in our favour Sue.

  37. RockyLives says:

    I’m getting everything wrong at the moment Sue 😦

  38. Sue says:

    No not quite… just that I was up to speed with the fixtures 🤪

  39. Sue says:

    😆 Well, with a bit of luck, that should do it! Just whatever you do, don’t mention Dean or Atkinson 🤫 Oh wait…….😂

  40. Sue says:

    Eddie starts!

  41. Rasp says:

    That’s a surprising looking team … seems to me the spine is suspect Mustafi, Guendouzi and Willock worry me.

  42. Eddie!!!! I’m ashamed and embarrassed to say that while writing the pre-match I had a senior moment and forgot about Eddie.

    Many apologies Eddie, now go and score please.

  43. Aaron says:


    That is some funny stuff.

    Think it will be better than that if we have someone quick with Mari.
    Who would that be? Hector or Saka? But they play on the outside.

    Line up looks good enough to do the job!

  44. Sue says:

    Portsmouth away then, if we win.

  45. Rasp says:

    Portsmouth away in the next round

  46. Rasp says:

    …. if we beat Bournemouth

  47. RockyLives says:

    My youth based team from yesterday’s Post was closer than I imagined.

  48. RA says:


    You are sounding like a pair of snapping turtles – providing Rasper has finished adding caveats.

    Mind, you are right, Sue, Rocky is rubbish at predictions — do you know — he once predicted I would pay him back the money I borrowed from him. Haa.

    Me, I’m good at predictions.

    I will never pay Rocky back — and Arsenal will win tonite. 😛

  49. RockyLives says:

    I got done by that Wichita sweet talking

  50. RockyLives says:

    The challenge will be whether we can protect the defence properly without Terrier.

  51. Sue says:

    Now who’s cheeky, RA?! 😝

  52. LBG says:

    A Saka smacker!

  53. fred1266 says:

    Boom my boo saka,

  54. Sue says:

    Beautiful goal…. he may well keep my man out of the team!

  55. Rasp says:

    That’s an emphatic finish 😂

  56. Aaron says:

    Well, now we can fold up our tents and get back to the practice field for the next 2 weeks!

    This kid Saka is something else!

  57. Rasp says:

    Really impressed with Willock so far

  58. LBG says:

    Willock proving his ability!

  59. RockyLives says:

    These youngsters are reminding me of when Rocastle, Thomas, Davis, Merson, Adams etc came through at roughy the same time.

  60. fred1266 says:

    Love how xhaka Just sitting deep rotating with saka

  61. fred1266 says:

    Sue we boy Eddie

  62. LBG says:


  63. RockyLives says:

    What a lovely goal 😀

  64. Sue says:

    Booooom!!! Eddie 😝

  65. fred1266 says:

    Are we playing a back 3

  66. Brilliant by Arsenal …… did the commentator just say ‘Brilliant by Arsenal’ and it was 😁

  67. LBG says:

    Willock is having a storming game!

  68. Rasp says:

    Brilliant goal. No weak links in this team. Whoever it is who is impersonating Mustafi is having a good game 😂

  69. Aaron says:

    Now Eddie, this is fantastic.

    Is Laca going to lose his spot?

    As for vaR, hmmm.

  70. Sue says:

    Mike Dean was trying his hardest not to give it 😂

  71. RockyLives says:

    I’m putting in a word for Guen as well. He’s done a good job in the centre of MF breaking up Bournemouth moves as they try to play out.

  72. RockyLives says:

    My thoughts exactly

  73. Rasp says:

    How good are our away supporters?

  74. LBG says:

    Although I still approve of him playing, I still think Pepe is not ready.

  75. RockyLives says:

    We are effectively playing a back three – you’re right

  76. LBG says:

    Change of Bournemouth formation. Fraser must be double teamed.

  77. LBG says:

    Corner, but no, Sokratis, VAR doesnt check that!

  78. RockyLives says:

    Two cracking goals from two of our young prospects. Perfect.

  79. LBG says:

    Professional AWAY performance. So far!

  80. Sue says:

    Our away supporters are incredible, Rasp. Gotta say I love hearing “ooh to, ooh to be, ooh to be a gooner”….. it says that on my phone cover 😊

  81. RA says:

    Very good half. The youngsters are showing their paces.

    I suspect B/mouth will come out stronger in the 2nd half — they have nothing to lose by throwing the kitchen sink at us. It might lead to 0:4 buy might get them back in the game.

    We’ll see.

  82. LBG says:

    My favourite part of recent games is how Martinelli and Eddie have shown how to be on the end in the box to score.
    Laca and Aubang take note please or the yoof will usurp you!

  83. RockyLives says:

    Fred’s point about a back three…

    In possession we do seem to be running a three with Xhaka in the left defensive position.

    When Bournemouth have it we drop back into a four and Xhaka comes more central.

    Flexible and intelligent.

  84. RockyLives says:

    Willock reminds me of Rocky Rocastle. Not just looks, but the way he runs and his body language and his style of play.

    If ends up being anything like in the Rocky class we’ll be singing his name for years.

  85. RockyLives says:

    Lovely to see Pat Rice and Willow in the stands. Legends both.

  86. LBG says:

    Douzi has got to.learn to keep control. Opposition know he can be wound up!

  87. fatgingergooner says:

    The tactics with Xhaka dropping in are excellent. It allows Saka and Bellerin to push right on as wing backs which in turn allows Pepe and Martinelli to drop inside meaning it a 343. When the full backs go high it gives the opposition full backs an absolute nightmare as they dont know wether to one inside and mark the winger (Pepe/Martinelli) or stay wide and mark the wing back (Saka/Bellerin). Either way they lose as someone ends up with loads of space (usually our full backs as defenders will tend to push inside and mark the winger). With players like Xhaka and Mustafi able to hit the longer ball, this tends to give us a 2 on 1 out wide when we switch it quickly. Xhaka may have his faults but being left footed and able to play in that role is a huge bonus for us.

  88. fatgingergooner says:

    Nasty one for Mustafi. Gets his foot caught under him as he goes down.

  89. Sue says:

    I love how Guendouzi gets stuck in!

  90. fatgingergooner says:

    Lucky not to break his leg there with all his weight coming down on it.

  91. LBG says:

    Come on Rob, cool and calm, simple play please.

  92. RockyLives says:

    What a lot of instructions from MA to Holding!

    I love Mikel’s approach, like he has it all planned out in his head.

  93. RockyLives says:

    I hate to say it given his price tag, but Pepe is the weakest link at the moment.

  94. RockyLives says:

    (according to Sue’s theory, that means Pepe will now score 😀 )

  95. Sue says:

    😂😂 Rocky!! He’s so frustrating…. that paella fella is on now 😜

  96. RockyLives says:

    Xhaka’s having a good game but he’s put us in trouble a couple of times with some careless passing.

  97. Rasp says:

    Hmmm, its all getting physical … we could do without any more injuries. Apparently Mustafi has a possible Achilles rupture

  98. fred1266 says:

    Rocky am a money collector just say the word and I will get u your money from RA

  99. Rasp says:

    Does anyone know if Luiz received a one or three match suspension?

  100. RockyLives says:

    You do realise he’s 7ft tall and weighs 350 lbs…?

  101. fatgingergooner says:

    Geundouzi and Sokratis have been really good

  102. RockyLives says:

    Luiz is a one game ban, Rasp.

  103. Aaron says:

    Damn, if that is true Rasp, then well, just damn.

    Guess the Arsenal will have to pay for Mari now if Flamengo will take our $.

    Just see this thing out!

  104. RockyLives says:

    One of Gwen’s best games for us, I’d say.

  105. RA says:

    Two observations:

    1. Too much jersey tugging or pushing by B/mouth, and Atkinson ignoring it.

    2. We rarely win balls in the air in their penalty area. Too small?

  106. Sue says:

    Fred… I’ll tag team with you against RA 😜

  107. RA says:

    Quite right, Rocky.

    Gwen MOTM for me, but there are plenty of other choices.

  108. RA says:

    I’ll put you both in my pocket, Sue. 😛

  109. RockyLives says:


    Redders is so imposing that when he goes riding in Kansas he needs two horses to sit astride.

  110. RockyLives says:

    Oh bum.

    Focus now boys.

  111. Sue says:

    You wish, RA 😆

  112. RA says:

    Rocky, 😁😁

    But I did ask you to keep that our secret.

  113. RockyLives says:


  114. fred1266 says:

    Martinez was horrible today

  115. RockyLives says:

    That’ll do. Nervy final 10 minutes but we were pretty comfortable throughout really.

    Well done boys. Well done Mikel.

  116. RA says:

    Well, I was right about the B/mouth kitchen sink arriving in our half — aided and abetted by Atkinson.

  117. Great game ….. bit nervy in the end but cup ties are meant to be scary aren’t they? Well done Arteta and the team.

    Who fancies writing a report and/or some player ratings?

  118. Rasp says:

    Well I got it wrong with my comment before the match. Mustafi was good (who knew he could play those long diagonal passes) and Douzi and Willock both excellent

  119. fatgingergooner says:

    I seem to remember some experienced players trying to outmuscle and intimidate Fabregas when he first came on the scene and more often than not he would just outclass them with his control and skill. It was great to watch Geundouzi do the same to Gosling today. He tried everything to ruffle his feathers but Douzi ran the game for me. When he ‘accidentally’ elbowed Gosling in the face towards the end and then nutmegged him when he came back into the field was brilliant. Great performance.

  120. Sue says:

    Good win…. Saka and Guendouzi were brilliant. I don’t think he means to be, but Sokratis is so funny…. the look on his face, his finger pointing, waving his arms in the air… cracks me up!

  121. LBG says:

    My observations
    1. Fitness levels still shone up a little in last quarter. Willock a good example
    2. Happy with MOM for Douzi, BUT he, Xhaka and Sokratis have got to develop calmness under normal end of game pressure from opposition.
    3. Saka’s energy and forward play impressive.

  122. LBG says:

    Under a different circumstance Douzi could easily have been sent for that “accidental” elbow. Drive, enthusiasm, guts but short on discipline, IMO.

  123. RockyLives says:

    Seemed like genuine accidental elbow to me.

  124. Sue says:

    Unbeaten in January! 3 wins, 3 draws… the Arteta effect 👍

  125. RockyLives says:

    In all of Arteta’s games in charge we have managed to look (for some or most of each game) like we have a plan and some tactics.

    In other words the opposite of how we looked under Emery.

  126. LBG says:

    Had a running battle with the Mirror’s ” Chief football wank….writer”, John Cross, mainly over being an Arsenal “supporter”. Always thought he was blind…this morning his assessment of Martinez is ” looks a very good and solid back up keeper. Reliable”.
    Know he’s blind on last nights performance!

  127. LBG says:

    Will be disappointed myself if we cannot find a playing role AT LEAST to end of season for Ceballos. His problem is Mesut and now Willock, but we have sent Smith Rowe out, AM-N has not proved the No10 I thought he would, so keep him for big, one off Flamini-type game performances. Dont believe he will ever let us down, especially under more disciplined Arteta approach.

  128. I’ve written a post ….. needs some player ratings ……. back in a bit

  129. There’s a New Post …………

  130. Ooooh LBG, move your comments over to the new post ……………

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